Colts: How Trey Burton’s injury affects Indy’s tight end depth

Colts tight end Trey Burton’s injury is worse than we all thought.

Indianapolis Colts fans were thrilled when the coaching staff raved about free-agent signing Trey Burton, who was expected to be a dynamic piece for the new and improved offense. His performance in training camp was turning heads. Many forget he was a prime red zone target in 2017 and 2018 before injuries derailed his 2019 campaign.

But then came another injury in Indy. Burton was helped off the field back on Aug. 29 with a “lower body injury” and reportedly couldn’t put weight on his leg. Then came a positive update. Then came a bad one.

And now we have another bad one. Burton is expected to miss the first few weeks of the regular season.

That’s discouraging, but there’s no need to panic whatsoever. Burton was a luxury addition for the Colts, especially given all the weapons the team has on offense. Not to mention, the tight ends room features Jack Doyle. We’re in good hands!

Burton elevating the offense in other ways is what we’ll miss out on in the early going, but the Colts also have high hopes for Mo Alie-Cox, who’s entering his third NFL season. The former VCU basketball player signed with the Colts in April of 2017 … and he hadn’t played football since his freshman year of high school.

But his imposing size (6-foot-5, 267 pounds) made it easy to latch on with a pro team. He’s an absolute beast.

He’s been blocked on the depth chart the last few years thanks to the presence of Doyle, Eric Ebron and Erik Swoope, but the latter two are gone now. Cox is the backup heading into Week 1, meaning he’ll get ample reps to show the coaching staff what he’s capable of. In his first season of football (2018) since early high school, he logged seven receptions for 133 yards and two touchdowns in nine games (and only 13 targets). Not bad!

With two years under his belt learning from some impressive tight ends, we can hope his athleticism will be on full display when he gets an opportunity in the team’s first two games (or more). He just got activated off the PUP on Aug. 21, so he’ll have to jump right in and get to work.

But in the meantime, it’ll be Doyle taking the reins as the starter. Some have less confidence in the veteran as of late, but in 2018 he was held back due to injuries (he played in only six games) and still managed to make the Pro Bowl in 2019 (though he didn’t have eye-popping numbers) with Jacoby Brissett as his QB.

There’s no need for Colts fans to be impatient with Burton’s recovery. The tight end position will be just fine for the time being.

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